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Smart work item management based on code comments analysis

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244843D
Publication Date: 2016-Jan-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 31K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The idea describes a system for creation and management of work items in support of software development, via inline code comments. By reacting on the addtion, deletion and changes of the comment text, the system triggers work item management actions on behalf of the user who changes the source code, thus freeing him from the need to switch to a different tool to perform this action manually.

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Smart work item management based on code comments analysis

Developing code using any traditional methodology involves managing different types
of work items (stories, tasks, defects, requirements, etc.). Work item management systems, such as Rational Team Concert of Gerrit, offer the possibility of manual creation and state management, as well as adding links to relevant code changes which constitute a solution for a given problem , outlined in the work item description. Such systems also provide the possibility to assign various characteristics to a work item , such as summary, severity, owner, etc. It is usually the role of the user of such system to create and manage work items. Usually it is a also possible to use programmatic APIs to create and manage work items. Both of these use cases require switching between code management system and work item management system , which is a serious overhead and source of distraction for developers , who want to focus entirely on writing code.

The idea is to add an extension to the source code management system that will automatically create and manage work items (via work item management system API), based on source code comments contained in the code change submitted to the source code control system.

In any modern 3GL language it is possible to add comments throughout the source code. E.g. in Java, one can add comments in the following way :

// this is a short comment
String test = "abc";
/* This is a long comment */
String test2 = "def";

The Eclipse IDE recognizes the following comments as special ones , by a convention conveying information on errors to be fixed or tasks to be done in the future :

// TODO add message translation
logger.log("Translate me!");

// FIXME implement a new feature
throw new Exception("not yet implemented!");

When the developer decides to commit a change to the source code control system , the system knows both the new version of the file as well as the old one , so is able to calculate a set of differences between old and new version (so called "diff"). The proposed extension can obtain the diff contents and analyze them to extract the c...